A large technology company had little clarity between corporate HR leadership and the various business HR groups about who should be doing what. A new initiative would be rolled out at the corporate level, but often each business had an existing solution or wanted to do the new solution their own way, and it was always a battle to determine which approach to use. HR wasn’t able to do nearly enough strategic HR work, and they knew that they had gaps in organizational design, long-range talent development, and change management. They wanted to know how the organization could be designed to make it clear what should be centralized and what should be decentralized. They recognized some work should be done one size fits all and some work needed to be customized and responsive to specific business unit needs. Once that was clear, they wanted to know how to get the right people in the right roles with the right training.
This company formed a design team of 8 HR professionals from across different levels and parts of the HR organization. We conducted a survey to understand how time was currently being spent and what work was getting the most time and attention. We also collected information on the key business needs from each business and from corporate leaders so we could determine what strategic HR work needed to be done. During the design process, we separated the strategic work from the foundational work and put together an organization that made the foundational work as efficient as possible and enabled HR to focus on the strategic work and be responsive to the needs of the business.
The outcome of this process was an organization with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, clear ownership of HR tasks, and a number of people dedicated to doing strategic HR work without being encumbered by more routine work.